When it comes to creating a good business website, you can see why so many people and businesses fixate on a stylish looking website. If you only have a few seconds to make an impression, you want to have a website that is attractive and which will catch people’s attention. However, a pretty website alone will do nothing for your business. Your website needs to be functional and capable of meeting the needs for prospects and customers.
Some business experts will try to make comparisons between the look of a store and the look of an online site. It is fair to say that an attractive, stylish or eye-grabbing window display in a physical store can entice customers into the store. This is not the case on the internet. It is not as though there is a promenade of website home pages where potential customers peruse before deciding to visit a site. Customers are drawn to websites by their content and links from other sites. This means that a customer already has a fair idea of what a website is going to offer before they even arrive.
A horrendous looking site can lose you custom, so it is important to ensure some thought has gone into the design and layout. However, a stylish website alone is not enough to make online sales and this is something that all businesses should bear in mind. Some business owners may think that an attractive looking site will make up for deficiencies in other areas. These are some faults and problems that a pretty site cannot cover up:
• If your site isn’t ranking
• If the content on your site is poor
• If you do not provide what consumers are looking for
• It never changes
• If it isn’t generating leads or sales
• If it isn’t focused on the right target audience
All of these problems need to be resolved before you have to worry too much about the intricate details of how your website looks.
Firstly, if your site isn’t ranking, it is unlikely that many people will be stumbling upon your site. Similar to the old saying about whether a tree falling in the woods actually makes a sound, if no one sees your website, does it matter how good or bad it looks? You need to make sure that your site is ranking and that people looking for what you offer can find it. This should always be the primary focus when creating a website but it is one that many businesses, like businesses all around the world, tend to overlook.
Optimise your site as opposed to worrying about the appearance
Starting with the basics of creating pages that are focused and targeted with keywords is far more important than the look of your page. Optimising your site should always be the first task when building a webpage.
Following on from this, if the layout of your site is stylish but the content is lacking in quality, people will remember the content. If someone gives you a present, do you remember the gift itself or the wrapping paper? You need to create content that helps you to rank but you also need to create content that persuades people to buy or take action.
Having good quality content on your site is one thing but you also need to ensure that it is the right sort of content. This means that the content has to be aimed at the right target audience. The internet is open to everyone and you would be naive to think that you can sell products to every online user. This is why you should focus your content on the consumers that are more likely to want to buy the products that you are able to offer.
You also need to ensure that your content is relevant to the keywords you rank for. These keywords are the things that draw people in, so there needs to be a progression from these words to the rest of your content. Your content has to be good but it also has to be focused and relevant to your audience and what you are trying to say.
Updating your site regularly will also be of greater benefit than having a stylish site that never changes. Add in the fact that you should analyse your site to see if it is creating leads to itself, and you have plenty of aspects to worry about before you need to think about how your site looks.
Ursula Petula Barzey is a Digital Marketing Consultant and Founder of Moxee Marketing, a London based digital marketing agency.